The CIA Makes Science Fiction Unexciting #4

The CIA Makes Science Fiction Unexciting #4

by Abner Smith

Friday, September 23, 2005—The FBI fired over 120 bullets into the home of Puerto Rican independence leader Filiberto Ojeda Rios. Autopsy reports show that he bled to death from a gunshot wound to his shoulder. The FBI considered Ojeda Rios the head of a domestic terrorist group - the militant Puerto Rican independence group "Los Macheteros" and he was their most wanted man until 9/11. But in Puerto Rico he has long been viewed as a hero and now many Puerto Ricans of all political stripes have questioned the FBI's actions, especially because the shooting took place on the anniversary of an 1868 uprising against imposed Spanish rule. Puerto Rico is an illegal occupation of the US and under international law, the actions of the US are terrorism and the Puerto Ricans are freedom fighters. Amnesty International said that the killing should be considered an extra-judicial execution if the FBI deliberately killed Ojeda Rios or deliberately left him to die, when they could have arrested him. Why didn't we hear about any of this on the nightly news? If agencies of the US government are still carrying out vigilante justice like they did in the 1960s, has anything changed? Artwork by Keith Rosson.



"Overall, a chilling, well-detailed read about this large cover-up, free from a lot of the alarmist tint that has plagued a lot of other research in this vein."

Sometimes, when you hear about a new political movement or struggle for independence from an oppressor somewhere in the world, it can be shocking. I knew that Puerto Ricans were divided on the notion of being a U.S. territory, but I never knew the degree to which people are fighting to gain independence. This zine, the fourth installment but the first I’ve read, documents the so-called political assassination of Filiberto Ojeda Rios, a leader of one of the major independence groups on the island. Most shocking to me was that this assassination didn’t take place back in the ’60s during COINTELPRO’s reign, but recently in 2005 and was undertaken by the FBI during a raid on the fugitive leader’s home. While the writing and structure of this zine lacks the typical academic style one might expect with such a topic, the information still rings through well.
Microcosm Publishing

I've had the pleasure of reading a previous issue of this zine and was impressed by the thorough research that went into its production. This issue, focusing on the FBI assassination of Filiberto Ojeda Rios in 2005, is just as well researched and written. For those who don't know, Ojeda Rios was a Puerto Rican independence leader gunned down in his own home by the FBI. Abner Smith presents not only the story of Ojeda Rios, but also a brief, detailed history of colonization in Puerto Rico, and the US repression against independence movements. Slowly but surely Smith is leaving a collection of work that needs desperately needs to be recorded.

The new issue of this zine, which takes a sort of "I wrote my term paper on this subject" approach to various conniving schemes of shifty government agencies, tackles the little-known assassination of Puerto Rican independence icon Filberto Ojeda Rios by the FBI. Either way, I knew there was always some sort of movement in Puerto Rico to either get it into official statehood, or be rid of U.S. colonialism altogether. But I never knew anything about various uprisings and revolts that have taken place there. I guess it was never newsworthy to the major media. Regardless, in the late 90s the independence movement gained a pretty strong following and this Filberto Ojeda Rios character was kind of at the helm of it. He was eventually tried for a robbery in the U.S., but went on the [down low] after a few years, issuing his decrees and opinions discreetly from the underground. In early 2005 the FBI caught up with him, after he had laid low for quite some time and killed him in his home. That's the story in a nutshell. The short zine gives a fairly good account of the history of the island since the times of Spanish colonialism, but doesn't really discuss Rios all that much. Most of the discussion in this missive has more to do with the history of repression and U.S. intervention over the years. Then again, tracking information down on this topic probably doesn't yield a lot of results on the mainland. But I bet the Puerto Ricans have a lot to say about it back home.

This issue of this consistently amazing zine detail the CIA's assassination of Puerto Rican Independence leader Filiberto Ojeda Rios. This is really informative and talks of Puerto Rico's history of colonialism and repression leading up to the assassination in 2005. If you haven't checked out this zine, you really should, because this is the shit that our government perpetuates on a mass scale, and it's fucked.

My lack of shock to the content of this zine is a sign of the times. My blase response to this zine was just as disturbing as its contents.

Whilst the corporate media have largely ignored the case, there's a widespread belief that this plight needs to be documented and an awareness surrounding the atrocities committed by the FBI needs to be raised. This book does just that and provides a well-researched background to the murder, exploring the various different reasons the FBI would have had for executing the man. On a broader spectrum it's also a rallying cry to end colonization as it inevitably operates in the interests of the wealthy and big business rather than serving the people. Various parallels are drawn between Puerto Rico's situation and that of many other small island economies around the globe who've managed economic prosperity, whilst also being independent. Thought provoking stuff and well worth a read.

This zine serves as an information reader about the FBI assassination of Puerto Rico Independence leader Filiberto Ojeda Rios. As the zine states in its introduction, in the fall of 2005 the FBI shot over 100 bullets into the house of Filiberto Ojeda Rios ... He is considered a martyr in Puerto Rico, and the events have sparked much anti-US sentiment and fear over the Bush administration's future acts of sabotage. The zine goes into historical detail of both the Spanish and US occupations of Puerto Rico, the harassment from the FBI on the Puerto Rican population, and a history of the life and death of Rios ... There is so much information PACKED into this tiny sized zine it is appalling.

"It shouldn't surprise me that I learned about it from a zine; the corporate press doesn't like to cover US government atrocities ... The usual fine production job by Microcosm includes spot color, artwork by Keith Rosson, some photos & a cartoon, and more text than you'd expect in 32 half-digest pages. A good deal at $1.50."